July 04 2014 01:46PM
Friend of the blog, Sportsnet's Dan Murphy, was kind enough to hop by for a chat with me about the current state of affairs for the Vancouver Canucks. In the podcast below we touched on a variety of topics including:
- How much say Jim Benning had on this past draft class
- Why the Canucks felt the need to give Ryan Miller the contract that they did
- How many of the circulating stories about John Tortorella were actually true
- Where the team and Chris Tanev currently are in their negotiations
- How progressive the new braintrust will be in using analytics to help make decisions
July 04 2014 10:49AM
The Canucks made two very notable signings this past week, leaving them with roughly $7 million left in cap space to lock up their four restricted free agents. They got one of those done on Thursday evening when they agreed to a 2-year deal with Zack Kassian.
Kassian's time in Vancouver has been a rather bumpy one thus far - having been traded for a polarizing young player like Cody Hodgson, then being asked to live up to expectations ranging anywhere from Milan Lucic to Todd Bertuzzi - but despite all of that, he's trending in the right direction. He may never wind up reaching the lofty goals some people have built up for him, but that doesn't mean he can't continue to grow into a fine player over these next two seasons.
July 03 2014 06:31PM
(*) with "is" being us being more optimistic about Jared McCann as a prospect after some additional insight was brought to our attention.
With the free agent frenzy sweeping the hockey world up by storm recently, we haven't had a chance to sit down and discuss the entry draft that took place last weekend in a longer, podcast form. Until now.
In this edition of the podcast Rhys and I run through the picks the Canucks made, before being joined by Garrett Hohl from Arctic Ice Hockey near the end of the show to have a chat about some of the more prevalent free agent signings we've seen in the past few days.
July 02 2014 07:54PM
Heading into the free agency period with defined areas of need and a boatload of cap space at their disposal, we figured the Canucks would be one of the busier teams in the league. Things didn't necessarily play out that way right away, with the team signing a goalie and a trifecta of AHL/NHL tweeners, none of which helped fill in the blank for the burning question of who exactly would put a puck in the net for them next season.
We have at least part of that answer now, as news broke Wednesday night that the Canucks and Radim Vrbata came to terms on a team-friendly deal. There's a lot to like here.
July 02 2014 12:45PM
The Canucks continued to make small moves to shore up their fringe-NHL/AHL depth today, adding a couple of depth forwards in Cal O'Reilly (yes, he is related to Ryan - Cal is Ryan's older brother), and former Texas Star Dustin Jeffrey. Neither really look to have significant NHL upside and are probably nothing more than moves to strengthen what was a poor Utica Comets team last year, but both have had a cup of coffee in the NHL so we felt it's at least worth mentioning them. Read past the jump for a quick look at Vancouver's two newest forwards.